Written by NPA News, Pawn Articles

This San Diego Pawnshop Knows What Matters Most, And It’s Not What You Think

By Sharon Rapoport

Ever since Christian T. moved to the neighborhood, he had driven past the San Diego pawn shop countless times. He had even visited. However, he never thought of asking about the unique object he had pawned years ago. Since he was not able to retrieve it at the time, he figured it was long gone.

The item was a 1953 “Silent” Smith Corona typewriter, a gift from an esteemed teacher who, according to Christian, gave it to him “as a token of confidence” right at the beginning of a tumultuous time in his life. Christian, who told part of his story in a Yelp review, relocated to San Diego and brought the typewriter with him.

As it turned out, Christian’s troubles permeated his financial life and stretched out for years. So, in 2014, he decided to pawn the typewriter at CashCo Pawn, a well-known pawnshop in San Diego.


A 1958 Smith Corona Silent-Super typewriter. Photo by P. Musgrave*

But by April of 2018, many things had changed. The rough patch seemed to be “over and the smoke began to clear.” Something stirred inside him. He remembered the typewriter and how it signified someone’s belief that he would pull through whatever punches life would throw. He decided to inquire about the typewriter even though he knew the chances of finding it were slim. “All of CashCo’s staff and even the inventory system had turned over. There was no record of the transaction and no way to search, let alone find something, from so [many years] far back.”

To further complicate matters, the store was going through a major spring cleaning.
CashCo is well-known for giving back to the community. Every year, the pawn shop gives away thousands of dollars in prizes to their customers and is well-known for organizing epic holiday parties for the entire neighborhood. With the warehouse’s cleanup underway, hundreds of expired and unsold items were donated to local charities. It seemed unlikely that Christian’s typewriter would turn up.

In a final effort, Christian decided to tell Ediz Benaroya, the general manager, his story. Though Ediz listened and assured him they would make the best effort to find his typewriter, Christian was skeptical. “I was doubtful of this pawnbroker’s concern for what matters in the big picture, or even just to me.”

Ediz Benaroya (left), Christian T. (right), at CashCo Pawn, San Diego.

After an initial search of the warehouse, nothing was found. Ediz promised that the staff would continue to look. By then, Christian had given up hope.

But the week after that, something unexpected happened. Ediz called, and Christian had to “overcome a minor emotional shock” as he heard the news. The item had been found. CashCo’s staff had continued to search “on the blind faith that they could simply help me.” Christian wondered how much he’d have to pay in interest, storage, or fees after so many years. However, “They practically gifted the machine back because, by now, the sentiment was theirs too.”

As Christian said in his glowing review of CashCo “the pawn game can be rough.” However, pawnshops such as CashCo Pawn San Diego provide an invaluable service to people in need of immediate cash. Pawn loans require no credit checks or complex background inquiries. And like CashCo, they are places where professional conduct, good intentions, and generosity abound.

Photo attribution: By P. Musgrave. (Photo taken in my home of my own machine.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Read the full Yelp review:
May 1st, 2018

“I humbly submit that my gratitude is worth the time it will take us to share. The pawn game can be rough. So I was doubtful of this broker’s concern for what matters in the big picture, or even just to me. Such was the case in 2014 when I gave up a pair of irreplaceable items. One of these manual typewriters was of immense personal value. A highly-esteemed teacher gave it to me as a token of confidence, at the beginning of what turned out to be a decade of difficulty. When it was over and the smoke began to clear a few months ago, I popped into this store where I’d given up my machine. All of their staff and even the inventory system had turned over. There was no record of the transaction and no way to search, let alone find something from that far back. In a last-ditch effort, I told Ediz (the general manager) my story in more detail than the typical internet reader wants to read or our present purpose requires. Suffice it here to say, it’s a deeply meaningful story and Ediz listened. He then said he wanted to help me, even seemed genuine, and did a perfunctory search of the upper warehouse. Naturally, nothing was found. Of course, he said the staff would continue to look. I then proceeded to give up once and for all. I had tried. But then, within a week, Ediz actually did call. I had to overcome minor shock before I could just process the emotional news. The staff really had continuously searched on the blind faith that they could simply help me. They practically gifted the machines back because, by now, the sentiment was theirs too. My buy back was a formality. It didn’t cover the labor just described, the interest, storage… Considering inflation, not one of these considerations, not a fraction of their costs were covered. They just did this out of compassion.”

Christian T.


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